Douglas Andrews / March 18, 2021

Gavin Newsom Vows to ‘Fight Like Hell’

Those same words got a president impeached for incitement to violence.

If the words “fight like hell” mean what we think they mean, the city of Sacramento had better start putting up the fences, unspooling the razor wire, and setting up the Porta Johns for the National Guard. Because there’s gonna be a riot. And then there’s gonna be an impeachment.

Or is “fight like hell” only an incitement to violence when a Republican president says it?

To be fair, California Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t utter those words himself. His strategist Sean Clegg did. But Newsom hasn’t fired or even disciplined the guy, so he must approve of that language and the “lawless action” that it might “foreseeably” result in; language that has already “gravely endangered the security” of the state of California “and its institutions of government,” to borrow the language from the Democrats’ impeachment article against Donald Trump.

So, Golden Staters, why not just spare your unpopular governor the indignity of a prolonged recall effort and, in the trenchant words of the always classy Democrat Representative Rashida Tlaib, “Impeach the motherf—r”?

If nothing else in this deep-blue state, where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by nearly 2-to-1, the recall movement has gotten Gavin’s attention. And it should. As Politico reports, “Supporters of the recall … said Wednesday they submitted 2,117,730 signatures by the day’s deadline, a number that appears to comfortably exceed the required threshold even if some are invalid.”

“Am I worried about it? Of course I’m worried about it,” Newsom said in a bold and fearless appearance on that hard-hitting journalistic slaughterhouse known as “The View.” He added, “The nature of these things, the up-or-down question, the zero-sum nature of the question, is challenging, and it’s vexing. … I have to do my job every single day, but I’m going to fight this thing, because I’m going to fight for California values and the things I hold dear.”

By “California values,” we presume he means ordering the state’s unwashed masses to do one thing during the pandemic while he and his privileged colleagues do another thing entirely. Like dining unmasked with lobbyists at a tony Napa Valley café after having consigned everyone else to lock down and mask up. And like feigning sympathy for the millions of Californians who’ve had to endure school closures and virtual learning for their children while his own kids have been in an elite private school since November. California values like that.

Just how worried is Newsom? Worried enough to play the race card. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “California Gov. Gavin Newsom promised Monday to replace the state’s senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein, with a black woman, and says he has ‘multiple names in mind’ if she retires. Just one problem. Sen. Feinstein’s term ends in 2024, and she’s made clear she’s not going anywhere.”

Newsom himself blamed the recall effort on “members of the Three Percenters, the right-wing militia group, the Proud Boys, support of the insurrection, [and] folks that quite literally, enthusiastically, support QAnon conspiracies.”

Who knew there were 2,117,730 Proud Boys and QAnon types in California?

As Anne Dunsmore, campaign manager of the recall effort, notes in National Review, one-third of the California residents who signed the recall petition are independents or Democrats.

“It’s not just the French Laundry,” Dunsmore said. “It’s the gas taxes, the rolling blackouts, the wildfires. … Everybody’s gotten a major lesson in ‘Government Screws You 101.’”

When it comes to recalls, California has the lowest standards of any state in the country — only 12% of the turnout from the previous election is required to start a recall movement. And this for the fifth-largest economy in the world with 40 million people, or one in eight voters in the entire United States.

Republicans, though, should curb their enthusiasm. They haven’t won a statewide election in California in 15 years. Newsom will probably win, but it’ll be an expensive and ugly ride. The Golden State is a deep-blue one, after all, and, according to the California secretary of state, Democrats enjoy a better than 20% margin in registered voters. As Republican recall strategist Dave Gilliard said in a tweet Wednesday, petition signatories were “64.10% GOP; 25.30% NPP (No Party Preference); 9.00% Dem; 1.60% Other and 49.48% Female.”

Still, liberty-loving, anti-lockdown, anti-elitist, anti-hypocrisy Americans of all stripes can dream, can’t we?

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